Roll out the blue carpet, Dodgers fans! Here are the winners of the 1st Half Dodgers Fan Choice Awards, proudly presented by Dodgers Nation.

Could anyone have predicted that Cody Bellinger would be THIS GOOD, this soon? Probably not to this extent, but most fans already knew he was talented, and it was only a matter of time. Alex Wood is truly the surprise many of us didn’t see coming. Wood had flashes of promise last year but hadn’t proved to be reliable until this season, which he started out of the bullpen. Personally, I like his swagger and confidence on the mound and am rooting hard for him to continue his success throughout the duration of the Dodgers season.

Much can be said about how this outstanding coaching staff is doing extraordinary things under Roberts’ leadership. I personally think that the Dodgers have the greatest pitching coach in all of MLB in Honeycutt, but it begins and ends with Dave. He has followed up his well-deserved 2016 NL Manager of the Year award with an outstanding first half with no glaring mistakes, and with the seemingly universal respect of his players, seems to have the clubhouse firmly in hand. I’ve said it before and will say it again: The Dodgers organization struck gold with this man.

I wrote about Taylor last month, and although his productivity has dipped slightly since then (my apologies, Dodgers fans), there is no disputing the fact that his first half helped carry the Dodgers. On his improbable journey from part-time utility player to a key part of the lineup this season, Taylor has quickly endeared himself to both the coaching staff and the fans.

 

 

Not even close. Bellinger currently has the most beautiful swing in all of MLB. I look forward to watching him continue to adjust to big-league pitching in the second half and beyond. As far as the other nominees, can you even imagine this season so far without any of them? An MVP case could be made for any of them, and we are just getting started on the 2nd half.

This one goes home with 2 awards, and deservedly so.

In a night that could prove to be the turning point of their season, the Dodgers had looked listless at the plate all night and entered the bottom of the 9th trailing 5-2. A loss would put them a game under .500 and drop them to 4 games behind the Rockies, and hopes were not high for a comeback. Then, Yasiel Puig hits his XX of the year. 5-3 Dodgers. Bellinger, in only his 5th MLB game, rips a beauty down the right-field line, which hits the right-field foul pole and bounces fair. Followed by this already legendary called by Joe Davis, and the Dodgers improbably go back-to-back to back. I have a feeling this clip will always give me goosebumps.

Joe nailed it with this call, perfectly capturing the excitement that fans at the stadium and at home were feeling. One of the many things I admire the most about Joe’s skills is the way his voice seems to match the emotions of the fans in just the right way.

Speaking of which…

 

Joe and Orel were certainly enjoyable on road games last season, but this year seem to be settling in and clicking on all cylinders, much like the rest of the Dodgers organization. Joe in particular is interactive with appreciative fans on Twitter, and does his research accordingly, but it is his banter and chemistry with Orel that make them the perfect broadcast duo the opinion of many fans.

Watching Dodgers games has become so much more than just the game itself, and for that we thank our other nominees/entertainers like hilarious Twitter fan fave @doyerspls and the brilliant Dieter Ruehle on the Dodger Stadium organ. Dieter is in his 2nd season as stadium organist and really seems to be crushing it in his musical selections, delighting fans of all ages. He brings a unique energy to the stadium and has been keeping fans on Twitter guessing in their own game “What did Dieter just play?”. Anyone who can come up with a few riffs of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” like he did during that extra long, pivotal by at-bat by Hernandez on June 11 is, in my opinion, in a league of his own.

 

As many fans reminded me, this is the perfectly unique nickname given to Puig by the one and only Vin Scully, so enough said.

I will be the first to admit I jumped hard off of the Rally Banana train last season, to the point that I cringed at each and every Hernandez at-bat in which he chased low and away sliders. This year he is contributing and stepping up more than just at the plate. His defensive play and hustle is outstanding, regardless of what position he is slotted into, and the old Kike passion sure seems to be back. Good to see him playing with the heart that was missing last year.

It can’t be all sunshine and lollipops, even in the course of a championship-caliber season, We miss you, Tolesy. Get well soon.

Sweeping the Cubs in late May was a statement, but once the boys in blue got past the Rockies for that “wild” win on Sunday, June 25 to sweep the then-2nd place Rockies, we knew something extraordinary was happening.

Twitter during Dodgers games has become even more interactive/entertaining/puzzling/infuriating/enjoyable than ever before, and there are some great follows out there. Check these guys/gal out for yourselves if you are not already following. @doyerspls is a true gem, and one of the funniest people on Twitter, and Eric Stephen of True Blue LA is becoming well known not only for his (bad?) puns and dry sense of humor, but for his in-depth knowledge of the day-to-day goings on with the team.

And finally, my personal favorite category. I not only absolutely love that this one finished in a tie, but am thrilled that my top 2 Dodgers are the worthy recipients. “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way” and these two, along with JT, do all three of these things and more for the team. There is no doubt that much if not most of the true team dynamics take place out of the public’s eye and behind closed doors, but there is no doubt that this team is in exceptional hands with its current player leadership.

Thank you to all of the fans out in Dodgers Nation for voting, and congratulations to all of the nominees and winners in our first ever Dodgers Fan Choice Awards! It’s a special time to be a member of Dodgers Nation right now, and think I speak for many Dodgers fans around the globe when I say I truly cannot wait to see what the 2nd half has in store for us.

About The Author

Biggest Dodgers fan north of the border, living about 3,500 miles from my beloved Boys In Blue, in Moncton, New Brunswick. I watch a lot of baseball, and think Dodger Stadium is the happiest place on Earth. I'll catch up on my sleep in the off-season.

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